federal

Getting a Student Loan? Your Interest Rate Just Went Up

Posted on 07/1/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsStarting today, parents and college students will be paying more for federal education loans. Interest rates on new federal loans are adjusted every July, and this year’s rates are slightly higher than those for loans issued in the previous 12 months. The rate on Stafford loans for undergraduates is now 4.66 percent, up from 3.89 percent. Parents and graduate students now will pay a rate of 7.21 percent for PLUS loans, compared with 6.41 percent previously. These rates are fixed …

What the New Spending Bill Means for You

Posted on 01/17/2014 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsThe $1.1 trillion bipartisan spending bill passed by Congress funds federal agencies through the rest of the fiscal year, eases the sharp budget cuts known as the sequester and ends the lingering threat of another government shutdown. It also affects a number of programs especially important to older Americans. Here’s how, according to an AARP analysis: Increases spending by $41 million on nutrition programs for older Americans, including Meals on Wheels. This replaces across-the-board spending cuts, called sequestration, that took hold …

6 Things to Watch in Congress

Posted on 01/8/2014 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsMembers of Congress are back in Washington with an agenda full of items important to older Americans. Here’s a rundown: Debt ceiling and federal budget. Two deadlines loom here. The federal government will run out of borrowing authority if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7. Although Capitol Hill lawmakers negotiated a budget deal in December that set overall spending, they must pass a bill with more specifics by Jan. 15. Each time budget deadlines hit, some lawmakers …

Don’t Trust the Government? Join the Club

Posted on 10/22/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsPublic trust in the government is near an all-time low — not exactly a shock for a survey taken during a shutdown of the federal government. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter. Only 19 percent of American adults trust the federal government to do what’s right just about always or most of the time, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. More than four-fifths of respondents said they are …

Does Congress Need Some Divine Intervention?

Posted on 10/7/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIf YouTube and Facebook had an “Amen” button, Americans fed up with the government shutdown would probably be weighing in about this video of Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black, pointing out lawmakers’ hypocrisy, unreasonableness, smugness and selfishness — all in one tidy prayer. There are plenty of furloughed federal workers, vacationers kept from shuttered parks and Social Security beneficiaries worried about having their checks stopped who would love to give lawmakers a piece of their mind about the political impasse over …

Congressional Budget Experts Predict More Red Ink

Posted on 09/19/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsThe nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has just published its 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook, and this year’s set of predictions for the nation’s balance sheet is sure to push Washington’s heartburn rate up a few notches. Three quick takeaways from the CBO’s report: The percentage of federal debt held by the public is higher than at any point in modern U.S. history. Federal debt held by the public is likely to decline a little bit over the next few years, as …